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  • Writer's pictureDream Catcher Energies, LLC

New Drive for a New Drive


Chevy Volt Overlooking Lake Michigan

I Jared Soto, the founder of Dream Catcher Energies, LLC, hugely started this EV infrastructure journey because of the inability to charge at home. I really wanted an EV as my next car, but unless it’s a Tesla I can’t charge anywhere feasibly (Nothing wrong with Tesla’s). The car I had was a 2005 Prius, which I loved! If it were all electric and if I could charge it wherever, that would be my dream car. Unfortunately it was vandalized in the great catalytic converter theft conundrum and wasn’t working right since, even after trying to fix it. I made the mistake of getting a cheap clunker because I wanted to focus my money into this startup company rather than a nicer car. That car became junk after about 4 or 5 months, so back to car searches it was! 

 

I came across E & J Automotive in Racine. Ran by Eric and Jonathan, I was surprised to hear they had multiple Chevy Volts for sale! Turns out they specialize in fixing and selling them! Prices for the various Chevy Volts ranged from around 5k to 13k at E & J Automotive. Online you can see them sell for much more than that! I bought mine that day for about 5k.  

 

The Chevy Volt is an electric car with a range extender, but many simply call it a plug-in hybrid (Hot debates can be had over the terminology!). Regardless of name, the Chevy Volt can go a generous 20 or so miles on an all-electric range before a gas engine kicks on to act as a generator, sending current to the battery and/or directly to the electric drive motor. That means it’s a perfect city car that can go further if you need to without needing to plug in. Eric started with a small car dealership, and had interest in EV’s, but wanted to tinker with a Plug-in Hybrid like the Volt first. He really liked it, bought a couple more broken Volts, got good at fixing and maintaining them, then people started seeking Eric out to either fix or straight up buy their broken Volts. Over the last 3 years, Eric says he’s sold around 50 Volts! The day I bought mine, there were 6 or so Volts on the lot. Eric now has a Tesla added to his personal car collection that he drives the most for money saving reasons. 

 

Again, I CANNOT CHARGE AT HOME. In the summer, my employer had no issue with me charging my electric Zero Motorcycle with their outdoor 110V outlet in the parking lot. I got approval to charge a car with the same outlet. I live maybe 3.5 miles from work, so the Chevy Volt would be more than perfect! To my dismay, the car wouldn’t charge at work. That parking lot outlet has enough amperage to charge my Zero just fine, but not enough to charge my car. NOTE: I never had any problem yet with ANY OTHER 110 OUTLET for charging my Volt. Now I rarely get to plug in, and basically have an electric car that runs on gas.  

 

That may sound like a poor planned failure on my part, but it’s NOT. Now the challenges of charging an EV are so much closer to home for me than ever before. I now have a much STRONGER DRIVE to build out an EV charging network, starting right here in the town I call home; Sheboygan. It has been long and challenging trying to execute this plan while working full time to support myself and to fund this startup, but this car is giving me a sense of refreshment and urgency that will charge me into tomorrow. I am trying to convince employers in the area to install EV chargers for their employees and guests, reaching out to Alderpersons to make legislation work for tomorrow's infrastructure, and local businesses and parks to cater to tourists coming from far away. 

 

Eric and Jonathan at E & J Automotive are both extremely knowledgeable and warm people, if looking for any kind of used well maintained vehicle, head their way to 1600 Yout St, Racine, Wisconsin! 

 

-Jared Soto, Founder, 

Dream Catcher Energies, LLC 

Sheboygan, Wi, 53081 

715 602 0429 

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